IREDELL COUNTY, NC — At least 176 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Iredell County Thursday, increasing the county's tally of known cases to 10,411, Iredell County Health Department said.
The rise represents confirmation of at least 1,042 cases reported in the county since Dec. 31. Two county resident deaths were reported Thursday, increasing the COVID-19 death toll to 116. At least 72 patients remained hospitalized with coronavirus related illness, ICHD said.
Statewide, coronavirus spread surged by 10,398 cases Thursday. Throughout the state, the increase in case count was squeezing hospital capacity. In the Charlotte metro region, about 93 percent staffed intensive care unit beds and 80 percent of staffed inpatient hospital beds were full in the 13 counties that comprise the metro region, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services data released Thursday.
Wednesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper extended the existing modified stay-at-home order for an additional three weeks.
"With hospitals feeling the strain and more people sick, there has never been a more important time to take this seriously," Cooper said during a news conference.
Extension of the existing executive order directs residents to stay in their homes between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The order, which had initially been set to expire Jan. 8, will now be in effect until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29.
“There is an alarming amount of virus everywhere in our state. We are in a very dangerous position,” DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said. “Every single North Carolinian needs to take immediate action to save lives and protect themselves and each other.”
Cohen issued a Secretarial Directive Wednesday, urging residents to
Only leave home for essential activities such as going to work or school, for health care purposes, to care for family members or to buy food.
Avoid leaving home if you are over 65 or at high risk for developing serious illness. Use delivery services or alternative pick-up methods for food and retail.
Avoid gathering with people who do not live with you.
Wear a mask and keep distance from people when you leave home.
Avoid any indoor public spaces where people are not wearing masks.
Stay away from crowds. Avoid places where people may gather in large numbers.